Objectivist Economist Richard Salsman Tackles The Egalitarian Envy Brigade

The leading Objectivist economist, “Saysean” Richard Salsman has an excellent article in Capitalism Magazine on why “Justice Demands That We Should Celebrate Diversity in Wealth Too“.

Writes Dr. Salsman:

In most realms of life today, diversity and variety are justifiably celebrated and respected. Differences in athletic and artistic talent, for example, entail not only robust, entertaining competitions, but fanatics (“fans”) who respect, applaud, award, and handsomely compensate the winners (“stars” and “champions”) while also depriving (at least relatively) the losers.

Yet the realm of economics — of markets and commerce, business and finance, income and wealth — elicits a near-opposite response, even though it’s not, like sporting matches, a zero-sum game. In the economic realm, we observe differential talents and outcomes unequally compensated (as we should expect), but for many people, diversity and variety in this realm are disdained and envied, with predictable results: a perpetual redistribution of income and wealth by punitive taxation, stiff regulation, and periodic trust-busting. Here winners are more suspected than respected, while losers receive sympathies and subsidies.

What accounts for this rather odd anomaly?

Read the rest of Justice Demands That We Should Celebrate Diversity in Wealth Too.

OCON 2005 Lectures and Panels

This year’s Objectivist Summer Conference 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina features and outstanding lineup of talks and lecturers, including the return of some of our favorite lecturers.

From Objectivist Summer Conference 2015 – Talks and Panels

  • C. Bradley Thompson: The Abolitionist Movement and Its Lessons for Today
  • John Allison: The Leadership Crisis and the Free-Market Cure
  • Andrew Bernstein: Objectivism versus Kantianism in The Fountainhead and Black Innovators and Entrepreneurs under Capitalism
  • Eric Daniels: From “Sputnik” to the Internet: Real Solutions for Reforming Science Education
  • Onkar Ghate: “Charlie Hebdo”, the West and the Need to Ridicule Religion
  • Peter Schwartz: Defining Basic Moral Concepts and Principles and Anti-Principles in Ethics (advanced talk)
  • George Selgin:Money Under Laissez-Faire andThe Destabilizing Consequences of Central Banking
  • Amesh Adalja: Infectious Diseases and National Security
  • Rituparna Basu: Understanding the Arguments for Universal Health Care
  • Michael S. Berliner: How Music Saved a Life: Ayn Rand and Operetta
  • John Dennis: Making Decisions in Context
  • Ray Girn: LePort Schools Information Session
  • Gena Gorlin: Battling Depression and Anxiety: Insights from Moral Philosophy and Clinical Science and The Science of Self-Control: What We Can (and Cannot) Learn from Contemporary Psychologists
  • Elan Journo: The Jihadist Movement and The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
  • Ryan Krause: In Defense of Monopolies: How Antitrust Criminalizes Business Strategy
  • Andrew Lewis: Magna Carta and Its 800-Year Legacy
  • Keith Lockitch:Climate Change and Ideology
  • Shoshana Milgram: Moral Self-Defense: How-To Advice from Ayn Rand and Filming “The Fountainhead”: Ayn Rand’s First Plan
  • Jean Moroney: Aligning Your Subconscious Values with Your Conscious Convictions and Fueling Achievement with Objectivist Values
  • Adam Mossoff: Life, Liberty and Intellectual Property: Why IP Rights Are Fundamental Property Rights
  • Gregory Salmieri:Epistemology and Justice in the Age of Social Media
  • Thomas Shoebotham:The Legacy of Beethoven,Schumann and Musical Poetry,Chopin, the Bel Canto Pianist,Mendelssohn: Classicizing Romanticism,Berlioz: The Symphony Reimagined, and Liszt and the Virtuoso Tradition
  • Steve Simpson: Free Speech Under Siege
  • Aaron Smith:Benevolence, Goodwill and the Rationally Selfish Life
  • Tara Smith: How Does Objectivity Apply to the Law? and Constitutionalism–the Backbone of Objective Law
  • Don Watkins: How to Think about Inequality

and the following panels…

  • ARI’s Accomplishments in Its First 30 Years
  • Financial Matters
  • Life Extension in Our Lifetimes
  • Running Topic-Specific Centers
  • Admiring Ayn Rand in Hollywood

New York Times Condones Terrorist Acts of Violence When It Says “We Are For Free Speech, But…”

From Free Speech vs. Hate Speech – NYTimes.com:

There is no question that images ridiculing religion, however offensive they may be to believers, qualify as protected free speech in the United States and most Western democracies. There is also no question that however offensive the images, they do not justify murder, and that it is incumbent on leaders of all religious faiths to make this clear to their followers.

But it is equally clear that the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Tex., was not really about free speech. It was an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom.

Here is the cartoon that the NY Times has written such hateful and disparaging things about — you decide.

Mohammad-Contest-Drawing-1-small.jpg

Comments Steve Simpson at Voices for Reason – Attacks on Free Speech Come to the U.S. | The Ayn Rand Institute:

As I wrote last week, many intellectuals in America and elsewhere have taken an attitude of appeasement toward the terrorists and their sympathizers, thus ensuring that their attacks will continue. Of course, violence is not justified, they say, but should we really go out of our way to celebrate those who offend others or humiliate “marginalized” groups? (In this case, the answer is “yes.”)

Already, we are seeing that attitude toward the organizers of the event in Garland, who are being called “Islamophobes” and purveyors of “hate speech,” always with the caveat that of course violence is not justified.

But this attitude is a form of justifying violence, in the same way that criticizing a rape victim for dressing provocatively is a justification of rape. It says, you brought this on yourself, or you provoked your assailant, or you are the type of person who deserved this. In all events, the message is that your actions, not the actions of your assailants, are the relevant cause of the attack.

There are many circumstances in which it’s appropriate not to take sides in a debate or to criticize one side or the other or both. But that applies only when there actually is a debate to take sides in or to ignore. It seems too obvious to point out, but a debate does not exist when one side is trying to kill the other.

The moment someone resorts to violence in response to speech is the moment that the issue is no longer about the merits of any side’s position or the character of the speakers but about whether we are going to have the freedom to take positions — that is, to think for ourselves — at all. If we fail to support those who are trying to speak, we necessarily end up condoning, and therefore supporting, those who are willing to resort to violence. There’s no middle ground in a dispute like this, because there’s no middle ground between speech and force. Free speech cannot exist when some people are willing to resort to force.

Whatever one thinks about Charlie Hebdo and the organizers of the Garland event or of any of the arguments or positions they take or support, there is no question that Islamists who threaten and use violence want to shut down all debate, all discussion, all thought, and all criticism of their religion. That is why they resort to violence.

Coronary Heart Surgery at Under $2000 A Pop in India

From Heart Surgery in India for $1,583 Costs $106,385 in U.S. – Bloomberg Business:

Devi Shetty is obsessed with making heart surgery affordable for millions of Indians. On his office desk are photographs of two of his heroes: Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.

Shetty is not a public health official motivated by charity. He’s a heart surgeon turned businessman who has started a chain of 21 medical centers around India. By trimming costs with such measures as buying cheaper scrubs and spurning air-conditioning, he has cut the price of artery-clearing coronary bypass surgery to 95,000 rupees ($1,583), half of what it was 20 years ago, and wants to get the price down to $800 within a decade. The same procedure costs $106,385 at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“It shows that costs can be substantially contained,” said Srinath Reddy, president of the Geneva-based World Heart Federation, of Shetty’s approach. “It’s possible to deliver very high quality cardiac care at a relatively low cost.”

Medical experts like Reddy are watching closely, eager to see if Shetty’s driven cost-cutting can point the way for hospitals to boost revenue on a wider scale by making life-saving heart operations more accessible to potentially millions of people in India and other developing countries.

“The current price of everything that you see in health care is predominantly opportunistic pricing and the outcome of inefficiency,” Shetty, 60, said in an interview in his office in Bangalore, where he started his chain of hospitals, with the opening of his flagship center, Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City, in 2001.

What’s the difference? India has a predominantly private healthcare system not controlled by the government — unlike the semi-fascist/semi-socialist United States which is predominantly government controlled. All those controls and regulations create monopolistic “opportunistic” pricing and inefficiency.

The article mentions that Shetty has on “his office desk photographs of two of his heroes: Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.”

Perhaps he should also have photos of Ludwig Von Mises and Ayn Rand.

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